World's largest nocturnal primates / SAT 5-26-12 / Avoid work in Britain / Fictional title sch of 1994 comedy film / Local protest acronym / Andean tuber
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Constructor: Peter Wentz
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: "P.C.U." (46A: Fictional title sch. of a 1994 comedy film) —
PCU is a 1994 comedy film. The film depicts college life at the fictional Port Chester University, and represents "an exaggerated view of contemporary college life...." The film is based on the experiences of writers Adam Leff and Zak Penn at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. // The story involves preppy pre-freshman (pre-frosh) Tom Lawrence (Chris Young) who visits Port Chester University, a college where fraternities have been outlawed and political correctness is rampant on campus. The film makes heavy use of the political correctness movement as a comedy device. (wikipedia)
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NIMBY (25A: Local protest acronym). Then JUKEBOX (8D: Target of Fonzie's fist bumps) changed LAB to POO (29A: Jack-a-___ (hybrid dog)) and thus AMA to HMO (21D: Subj. in the 2007 documentary "Sicko") and SEX TALK to SEX TIPS (7D: Advice from Dr. Ruth). That's three wrong answers to get my first right answer, and then one gimme (JUKE BOX) to fix all three originally wrong answers. And all in about 20 seconds. I also knew P.C.U. instantly, which gave me CAF (47D: Half-___). That helped (eventually) get me into the bottom of the grid. Everything here felt very much in my wheelhouse. KENOSHA off the "K" (18A: Midwest birthplace of Orson Welles and Don Ameche), CHEX MIX off that second "X" (17A: High-carb party snack) ... answers mostly came quickly. Big hold-up was stupid in retrospect. Had V-E- at beginning of 24D: Like some pullovers and wanted VEENECK. But then got CUB (35A: News newbie), which left me V-EC- and so I couldn't make VEENECK work. But of course that ended up being the answer after all: just spelled V-NECKED. Gah. Lost a good minute or so fumbling around there. Also lost time thinking 27A: Try, informally was FLIER (as in the phrase "to take a FLIER" ... though there FLIER means something more like "risk," but try telling my brain that). Couldn't think of a Rodin sculpture besides The Thinker / Le Penseur (37A: Musée Rodin masterpiece => THE KISS). SPLINES is not in my vocabulary (40D: Thin construction strips). So as you can probably tell, the SW corner (all the way up through V-NECKED) was my most challenging area. But SPIKE (50D: Rail nail) and OCA (58D: Andean tuber) got me PANCAKE (61A: Edible floppy disk?), and I steadily worked my way up from there, with the "G" in FLING / G-SUIT coming in as the final letter.
I should probably add that I liked this puzzle a lot. Bouncy, with interesting clues. AYEAYES!? (63A: World's largest nocturnal primates) Ay ay ay! Wow. That was nuts. The rest, not so nuts.
- 1A: Accompanier of a thrown tomato ("BOO! HISS!") — Interesting this gets treated as one unit (an "accompanier"). The words do go together; I mean, I had no trouble putting it together. Do people actually say this phrase? Or literally hiss the HISS part? Also, when was the last time anyone threw a tomato, in earnest?
- 8A: Reddish-orange gem (JACINTH) — word I know only from crosswords. Big, big help today. Got it off the "J-C"
- 22A: Heart, to Hadrian (COR) — gimme, as was AME (36A: Sartre's soul).
- 26A: Avoid work, in Britain (DOSS) — no idea, though I have this feeling it's been in the puzzle before.
- 64A: ___ Beer Night (1974 baseball promotion that ended in a riot) (TEN-CENT) — I thought it was DETROIT, but that was the anti-disco rally... not sure why clue doesn't indicate that it was held in Cleveland. Seems pertinent.
- 2D: His opening line is "Tis better as it is" (OTHELLO) — not much question here, as I had the OTH- before ever reading the clue.
- 5D: Brand with a paw print in its logo (IAMS) — We're a Eukanuba household (same parent company as IAMS, it turns out).
- 30D: Friend of Pumbaa (SIMBA) — as with so many answers today, I had multiple letters in place before ever seeing the clue, which made them fall quickly. This is why you build off the answers you already have (if you can) rather than jumping around the grid.
I'm out of here for five days. Taking the girl to CO to see my family. Not sure which write-ups I'm doing and which write-ups subs are doing yet. You'll get what you get and you won't throw a fit. Or you will, who knows?